Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So you've heard, I imagine, about that bat clinging to the side of the space shuttle this week, hanging there on the side up past where anyone could see him, staying warm and alive through liftoff and possibly all the way to space. Probably living out some bat plan dreamed up during long days sleeping in a huddle with all the other bats, during evenings hunting for insects and wondering about the moon it couldn't see but still somehow knew was there.

I imagine he tried to rally his bat friends, cornering each of the most adventurous of them and painting a million squeaky pictures about the adventure they could have. The moon was only the beginning of it--making it to space would be the hard part, and after that only a matter of flying. But although the constant darkness sounded tempting, the endless opportunity for flying, the sad news that there are no guarantees of moths in space, or in fact even of places to land and sleep, eventually drove everyone to decline. It wasn't him, he should understand, it was just that things were too good right there in that cave, in that barn, in those woods. Why go to a moon that no one could see, anyway?

But the little bat planned on, undaunted by the lack of support or company, committed to leaving the huddle and heading to space on the side of a rocketship.

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